GO!

Rough-housing all the time and over-the-top

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
(Page 1 of 3: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3  
Connor

Face Taster
 
 
Barked: Wed Nov 28, '12 11:26pm PST 
Good day guys. I think this is my first post on the forum. Title of the thread is my general concern.

My fam adopted Connor a month back. He's a year and a half year old excitable GSD. Avalon's my 4 and a half year old big guy. They seem to feel the need to rough-house 90% of their free home time with each other. The other 10%, they're resting between fights or reloading their energy with food and water. Avalon was usually the one that invites to play in the first couple weeks, and Connor's very willing to accept. In the past week, their rough-housing has become more extreme, mainly due to Connor. His temper has been rising quickly whenever they rough-house and his bites become more vicious, he stiffens up, he starts to snarl intensely. Most recently he gets to this state within 5 minutes. Too over-the-top for my liking, though Avalon still finds it all super fun.

I've been trying to split it up by yelling "HEY!" loudly and clapping. Weird way, but it's my emergency recall in any case. Avalon switches his focus on me no prob, but Connor only does 2 out of 5 times. All his body, mind, and soul is on Avalon.

I've also just tried stopping the rough-housing before Connor gets to this fury state and bring him outside to do other things and burn off some of his energy.

My overall goal, I'd like them to be able to hang out quietly more often. It's like whenever they have free-time in the house, they think it's an obligation to rough-house and fight for the rest of the day. They love each other a ton already, showing their affection when they're resting between fights. But when the resting love time is over, back to fighting for the next 2 hours.

Avalon's problem is he thinks that dogs have to fight when they meet. This is fine. But he imposes this on Connor too, even though they live together, which is the base of the problem. Avalon's mellow enough to think it's always all good fun, but Connor does not always agree. There's also no way to get the two to do any other activity with me in the house unless I separate them. Because all they want to do is rough-house together.

For exercise, I'm a hiking addict. Weekday mornings, an hour walk around the neighborhood and half an hour of free romp. Weekday afternoons, sometimes a hike, sometimes just the walk and romp. Weekends, intensive hiking in the early mornings. The dogs do very well outdoors. But once in the house it's like BAM time to rough and tumble for the rest of the day.

Edited by author Thu Nov 29, '12 12:08am PST

[notify]
Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 12:12am PST 
If Avalon isn't acting aggressive or fearful or yelping in pain or anything, I wouldn't worry that Connor is biting too hard. Dog play can look pretty vicious. (But a dog fight is unmistakable- you will fear for their lives). The important thing is that when Avalon says "ouch!" or "leave me alone, kid," Connor listens. Smokey and his best friend spend 80% of their indoor play time frantically biting each others faces and mouths, but they seem to enjoy it.

It probably would be good to at least be able to have them settle down on cue, though, so you can halt the wrestling match if you're having people over for dinner or something. You could start just by walking by and giving them treats when you see them lying down and being calm. Behaviors that pay off tend to be repeated smile
[notify]
Connor

Face Taster
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 12:30am PST 
Thanks. smile I'd love if they could have more calm time together, even besides having guests. It's too bad they do more than just face biting. More than a few ornaments have been broken with two large dogs exploding indoors. Some cute face biting sounds like a dream.

Edited by author Thu Nov 29, '12 12:30am PST

[notify]

Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 4:11am PST 
Kali & Koby behave the same way when they don't get enough exercise. Koby is high energy, and it's his way of expending it. Try playing mind games with them, like hide the toy. I put mine in the dining room, shut the door, and hide their favorite toy. I let them out to go find it. It takes them about 5-10 minutes to find it. They are getting really good at it. Good Luck!
[notify]
Kodiak CGC

WOOoooOOoo
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 9:41am PST 
Is it an option to just let them go outside to release this energy? My group knows they're only allowed to play so hard indoors, so they're always asking to go out and play. Once they come back in they're tired and ready to chill for a couple minutes. (I'm assuming here that they're just playing hard, NOT seriously fighting or bluffing about fighting. You're the only one there to see them. If you think there's tension between them that might result in a fight, obviously don't push it.)

Games that engage their minds are also wonderful for wearing down high-energy dogs, like Kali said. Sometimes it's more the mental frustration than any real physical energy.

Edited by author Thu Nov 29, '12 9:50am PST

[notify]
Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 9:44am PST 
Could the afternoon free romp be extended? Some dogs seem to need to just RUN for hours, which is hard to do when you have a pesky job eating into your dog playing time. Otherwise, can you make them run harder during their romp, by throwing a ball as far as you can the whole time, or something?
[notify]
Squ'mey

too old to eat- any more KD
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 10:38am PST 
Sounds like typical GSD play laugh out loud Noisy, growly, chest thumping, leg hooking, mouthing play! Give them space to indulge & get out of the way. Mine do this constantly..but in the house they must abide by indoor rules. On the beach, or soccer field, they can go nuts. The open space gives them space to run, or escape.
That being said...keep an eye on your younger one. Has he been neutered? He is entering that challenging stage. He'll be pushing boundaries & solidifying rules...looking for his place in the world.
If Avalon is breaking off play when you ask..great. You can use that as a break for both dogs..even if Connor is still revved up. Do a few simple obedience things..like sit. Treat Avalon for his compliance. Pretty soon Connor will want some of that good stuff. When he complies to a simple cue..treat/praise..then let play resume. Like anything..it will take a bit of time. But mine know that "settle down" means wrasslin' is over for now.
[notify]
Czarka, CGC- UJJ

Why walk when- you can run?
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 12:15pm PST 
Play also involves training... GSDs will sound like the world is coming to an end. They can play rough... as you might have noticed. The training bit is that you show them WHERE they can play. Otherwise it's too many pounds of out of control dogs bouncing off the walls for my taste laugh out loud

If you want an off-switch inside... don't allow the escalation in the house... and you've got to give them a place to play. thinking If you kindly kick the kids out into the yard to play... they will catch on really quickly.
[notify]
Connor

Face Taster
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 2:01pm PST 
Kali: Let's see how they do with that today. I'm betting Connor is gonna be willing to play hide the toy. Knowing Av, he might rather invite Connor to wrestle. Then both forget about the toy hiding. laugh out loud But I'll see when I get back.

Kodiak: My neighborhood has a lot of coyotes. I'm fearful letting them outside to play unsupervised. More than a few large dogs have been killed by coyotes where we live. frown A golden and a pointer. Connor and Av will be tougher, but I'd avoid taking the risk.

Smokey: It can very well be extended, though not enough to help them calm down inside. These GSDs have boundless energy. I'm thinking slowly training them to chill out is still the solution. Just not sure on the best way to do it.

Squmey: Yep, Connor's neutered. So, short training sessions placed randomly between wrestling?

Czarka: Yeah, I hope to keep down the wrestling indoors. I'm getting the feel that it's a slow process. Outdoors, they can wrestle to their hearts content.

Any more tips on calming down the indoor wrestling long-term? Mentioned above, there are lots of coyotes in my neighborhood. Pretty dangerous letting them in the yard to wrestle for hours unsupervised around here. Since I can't always be standing in the yard watching them.

Edited by author Thu Nov 29, '12 2:03pm PST

[notify]
Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Nov 29, '12 2:15pm PST 
In addition to rewarding default calm behavior, you can ask for a down and just keep extending the time. As long as you take it slow and don't ask for more than they can comfortably do, they will start to get relaxed and sleepy in that position. It should help to work on that after they've been exercised; it'll be tough when you first get home. One thing that really helps is to randomly walk by and drop treats between their paws when they're lying down. You want them to feel like goodies rain from the sky when they chill out. If no one has mentioned puzzle/ treat dispensing toys, those really help some people. They get it when they lie down in their crates or on their beds, and it goes away as soon as they get up.
[notify]
  (Page 1 of 3: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3